James “Jim” Worth LaRock, 72, Kasson
James “Jim” Worth LaRock, 72, of Kasson passed away peacefully Thursday, April 18, 2019, at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Methodist Campus, following a three-year, courageous battle with metastatic cancer.
Jim was born Oct. 9, 1946, in Red Wing, to Worth and Theodate LaRock, the youngest of their three children. He spent his early years in Pine Island later moving to Rochester, where he graduated from John Marshall High School in 1964. He went on to attend Rochester Junior College and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration.
He met his future wife, Mary Gieske, of Austin, on the shores of Little Boy Lake, Longville, Minn., where he and Mary were camp counselors at YMCA Camp Olson. They were married Dec. 27, 1969, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Austin and would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.
After his college graduation, Jim began working for Sperry New Holland, which required moves from St. Paul to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Denver and Pueblo, Colo. He and Mary enjoyed camping, skiing and exploring the mountains of Colorado, British Columbia and Alberta.
In 1981, they returned to Minnesota where Jim became part owner of Patterson Motors and eventually owner of LaRock Implement in Kasson. He later obtained a LUTCF designation and was employed as a financial advisor with Waddell and Reed, Aid Association for Lutherans and Farm Bureau Financial Services. In retirement, he enjoyed part-time work at Hardware Hank in Kasson.
Jim was a friendly man who immensely enjoyed people and always a good story. He was active in Ducks Unlimited, Kasson-Mantorville Lions Club and coaching and managing Rochester and Dodge County youth hockey teams in his younger years. He was a faithful spectator at his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting and school activities. Jim was a fan of all Minnesota sports, especially the Gophers, Twins, Vikings and Wild, albeit sometimes a vocal fan.
His true passion was fishing and hunting; many memories of these trips have been collected over the years by friends and family and will continue to be shared. He was an avid coin collector and vegetable gardener (his salsa and spaghetti sauce were the best!). Jim was a long-time member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson. He was a donor to the Lions Gift of Sight at the time of his death.
Jim is survived by his wife Mary of Kasson. They were blessed with three children, who also survive: Jenna LaRock of Kasson, Jason LaRock of Kasson and Erik LaRock (Cassie Henefield) of Austin. He also leaves behind five adored grandchildren: David LaRock, Peter LaRock, Benjamin Nord, Ellen LaRock and Clara LaRock. In addition he is survived by his sister, Marguerite Sanders (Merlyn) of Rosemount, and Boynton Beach, Fla.; brother-in-law, John Gieske (Faye) of Prattville, Ala.; sister-in-law, Rev. E. Marlene Pankonin Gieske of Lincoln, Neb.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He had a very special bond with his cat, Puck.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Worth and Theodate LaRock; his sister and brother-in-law, Richard and Shirley Wilson; brother-in-law, David Gieske; niece, Deborah Wilson Johnson; and father and mother-in-law, Walter and Mae Gieske.
Jim will be dearly missed by his loving family. They would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of his caregivers over the past three years for their expertise and compassionate care, especially to Jessica Mitchell, CNP.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, April 26 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson. Visitation will be at the church from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, and one hour prior to the service Friday.